from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One to whom something is referred, especially for settlement, decision, or an opinion as to the thing's quality.
  • n. Sports & Games An official supervising the play; an umpire.
  • n. Law A person appointed by a court to make a determination of a case or to investigate and make a report on it. See Synonyms at judge.
  • transitive v. To judge as referee.
  • intransitive v. To act as referee.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An umpire or judge; the official who makes sure the rules are followed during a game
  • n. A person who settles a dispute
  • n. A person who writes a letter of reference or provides a reference by phone call for someone
  • n. An expert who judges the manuscript of an article or book to decide if it should be published
  • v. To act as a referee.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One to whom a thing is referred; a person to whom a matter in dispute has been referred, in order that he may settle it.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To preside over as referee or umpire.
  • n. One to whom something is referred; especially, a person to whom a matter in dispute has been referred for settlement or decision; an arbitrator; an umpire.
  • n. Specifically, in law, a person selected by the court or parties under authority of law to try a cause in place of the court, or to examine and report on a question in aid of the court, or to perform some function involving judicial or quasi-judicial powers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who reads manuscripts and judges their suitability for publication
  • n. an attorney appointed by a court to investigate and report on a case
  • v. be a referee or umpire in a sports competition
  • v. evaluate professionally a colleague's work
  • n. (sports) the chief official (as in boxing or American football) who is expected to ensure fair play


Middle English, from Old French past participle of referer ("to relate, to refer"), from Latin referre ("to carry back, to report, to notify"); as if refer +‎ -ee, that is, the person to whom something is referred for consideration. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.